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Paris is ranked number one for international meetings

On 12 May 2020, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) published its annual country and city rankings of the most popular destinations for international meetings. For the second year in a row, Paris has taken the top spot, pulling even farther ahead of other European cities.

The capitals leading position is the result of a public/private partnership involving key destination stakeholders, with the City of Paris and Viparis foremost among them.

Paris ranking as the worlds number one conference destination, as well as the excellent results obtained in recent years, are a reflection of the successful promotional achievements by sector professionals, in partnership with the Conference Unit of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.

With a total of 237 international meetings in 2019 that fulfill the ICCAs criteria* – against 212 in 2018 – Paris is 47 meetings ahead of Lisbon, the runner-up (190 meetings). In 2018, Paris led Vienna by 40 meetings. The City of Light has thus pulled even further ahead of the second-place winner, as well as Berlin (176 meetings) and Barcelona (156 meetings). This is the third time in five years that Paris has won the coveted top ranking, proof of its enduring appeal.

Viparis tireless efforts have allowed it to maintian this lead. In its second full year of activity, Paris Convention Centre (Europes largest conference venue) hosted the World Congress of Cardiology from 31 August to 4 September 2019. Organised by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and with more than 33,000 participants from twenty different countries, it was not only the most well-attended ESC congress, but also the largest congress ever held in Europe to date. Paris Convention Centre also hosted the 37th Congress of the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (8,200 attendees). Paris Expo Porte de Versailles hosted the IAAPA Expo Europe, Europes number one leisure industry event, with 8,500 attendees.

For its part, the Palais des Congrès de Paris successfully hosted three congresses that each drew more than 4,000 participants: EURETINA 2019 by the European Society of Retina Specialists, the 47th annual World Chemistry Congress, and the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

One of the years highlights for the Palais des Congrès dIssy was the Intelligent Vehicles Symposium, while attendees of the World Hydropower Congress gathered at Espace Grande Arche.

Viparis is acutely aware of the challenges currently facing every stakeholder in the events sector, and is preparing to reopen for business in early September 2020. Together with Bureau Veritas, the group has created a unique set of health safety guidelines for its venues. In the future, the resulting label, called "SAFE V", will be deployed by the entire events industry.

Lastly, a certain number of international associations were obliged to postpone or cancel their events slated to be held in Paris in 2020 (or transform them into digital gatherings). In support of these bodies, Viparis has decided to offer them a one-year membership in the ICCA Association Community. This group, launched in January 2020, provides a forum for international event organising professionals where they can discuss the challenges they face in their efforts to become stronger and more resilient in the future.


* The ICCA publishes its annual ranking of meeting destinations based on three eligibility criteria: meetiings must rotate between at least three countries, occur regularly, and attract a minimum of 50 participants. Since international meetings represent less than 20% of all events held each year in the capital, the ICCAs statistics should be viewed in light of the aggregate figures for the Parisian conference sector.


"We are very proud of this recognition of the commitment of professional partners, which makes Paris a world-class destination for the conference industry. This collective spirit points the way towards a brighter future and a city that aspires to matches the expectations of attendees." - Corinne Menegaux, Director General, Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau


"Paris remains the world capital for international meetings and we are proud of the part we play in bolstering this lead. 2020 will be a very challenging year for the events sector, and we are convinced that events and professional meetings will help to drive the recovery. We are working closely with all our partners, who are striving harder than ever to make Paris even more appealing", says Pablo Nakhlé Cerruti, CEO, Viparis.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau

Every day, the Conference Unit of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau strives to boost Pariss appeal, providing assistance and advice to associations organising large-scale events in the French capital. Bringing together Pariss leading stakeholders in the business tourism sector, the Unit encourages and supports trade associations that want to promote Paris as a host city.


About Viparis

Viparis, a subsidiary of the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, is the European leader in conferences and trade events.


Viparis manages nine main events venues in the greater Paris region. Every day, we strive to make our sites and our services more efficient and adaptable. Because our customers well-being comes first, we have developed Guest Attitude, a unique blend of prestigious venues and high-quality services for the 10 million visitors (the general public, professionals and spectators) and the 800 events we host each year at our various venues (Espace Champerret, Espace Grande Arche, Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, Les Salles du Carrousel, Palais des Congrès dIssy, Palais des Congrès de Paris, Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, Paris Le Bourget and Paris Nord Villepinte). Because we are always looking towards the future, we co-founded French Event Booster, the event industrys only innovation platform, where creative, collaborative ideas can circulate between industry stakeholders.